Taiwan has reacted angrily at a decision by erstwhile ally Nicaragua to hand over the premises of its former embassy to the People's Republic of China, following its decision to establish diplomatic relations with China earlier this month.
Taiwan's government sent a strongly-worded protest against the "illegal occupation of its property" and its legal transfer to the People's Republic, the foreign ministry in Taipei announced on Monday.
The decision by Nicaragua leaves just 14 countries worldwide that recognise Taiwan diplomatically - many of which are tiny Pacific nations, Caribbean islands and states in Central America.
Beijing's "One China" policy does not allow any country to maintain relations with both the People's Republic and Taiwan. Beijing regards the self-governing island as part of its territory and has redoubled its efforts to isolate it internationally in recent years.
Taiwan also strongly condemned the fact that its diplomats in Nicaragua were given just two weeks to vacate the country following the decision to embrace Beijing.
Sale of premises blocked
Taiwan attempted to sell the embassy premises to the Catholic Church in Nicaragua at very short notice, only to have the move blocked by the government in Managua.
The increasingly authoritarian Nicaraguan government under leftist revolutionary Daniel Ortega announced on Sunday that all Taiwanese assets in Nicaragua would immediately be transferred to the People's Republic following its breaking of ties with Taiwan on 10 December.